After sharing the Broadway stage in “The Mountaintop,” Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett are in negotiations to reteam for Fox Searchlight’s “Black Nativity,” with Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) in talks to join them.
Kasi Lemmons is writing and directing the film based on Langston Hughes’ gospel musical that was first performed on Broadway in 1961.
Story follows a young black teen from Baltimore who is sent by his single mother to Harlem to spend Christmas with the grandparents he’s never met. Through his grandfather’s Christmas Eve sermon and a stylized, dream-sequence retelling of the classic Nativity story, he learns about the importance of faith and family.
While the young protag has yet to be cast, Jackson and Bassett have been tapped to play his estranged grandparents, Rev. Clarence and Aretha Cobbs. Hudson is making a deal to play the boy’s mother, who hasn’t spoken to her father since they had a falling out after she got pregnant. Jackson will likely play multiple characters during the Nativity sequence.
Bill Horberg and Celine Rattray will produce with Galt Niederhoffer and Daniela Taplin Lundberg, while Joy Goodwin will exec produce.
Jackson is currently as busy as any thesp in Hollywood. Not only has he appeared in three movies this year — summer box office champ “The Avengers” as well as indies “The Samaritan” and “Meeting Evil” — but he’s currently filming Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained.” Thesp will segue into supporting roles in MGM’s “RoboCop” remake and Marvel’s “Captain America” sequel. Jackson is repped by ICM Partners, Anonymous Content and Jackoway Tyerman.
Bassett, who was last seen on the bigscreen in “This Means War,” just signed on to co-star in Millennium Films’ actioner “Olympus Has Fallen.” She’s repped by the Gersh Agency, Lighthouse Entertainment and attorney Darrell D. Miller.
CAA-repped Hudson recently appeared as a nun in “The Three Stooges” and played Winnie Mandela opposite Terrence Howard in the indie drama “Winnie.” Thesp is currently reteaming with Howard on Andrew Levitas’ drama “Lullaby.”